Fireside Chat

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    Yes, thank you. alec moved on from if to how. If you didn't catch that, then I suppose my point will not make sense to you.
  2. patriot_41

    patriot_41 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 8, 2008
    I've yet to see an industry generate a product with any artistic integrity. This is why the best games were created up to 1998-99 - it was a niche market for smart people, since not everyone owned a computer and it was risky business.
  3. TwinkieGorilla

    TwinkieGorilla This ghoul has seen it all

    Oct 19, 2007
    Per, i apologize. i did *not* in fact catch that.

    this has been a central point to the side of this argument many times...and i agree for the most part (but saying "industry" is a bit wrong. i myself have to work within the "music industry" and you'd better believe i'd kick you in the balls if you told me i maintained no "artistic integrity". you can dislike what i do, but without watching the process between conception and production, how could you judge such a thing?) so what is it which is different between a man like Luis Bunuel having to work within the film industry under budgets, whiny producers and a large crew? is it simply the audience? i do believe this is the case. thus far video-games are not considered intellectually, artistically or culturally relevant and are not marketed, sold or bought as such. this is what needs to change. but how? fuck if i know.
  4. patriot_41

    patriot_41 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 8, 2008
    It's like comparing a kid selling lemonade as opposed to the Coca Cola company. You're existence does not affect the whole picture, so you can do whatever the fuck you want. You're like the Indie game developers, so you're not strictly in the industry, even if you are in the same field and you get paid for what you do.
  5. TwinkieGorilla

    TwinkieGorilla This ghoul has seen it all

    Oct 19, 2007
    well, i agree. and i think it's brilliant though (as long as we're already on Radiohead) that a band like Radiohead has used "the industry" and is now able to function without it. they've reached a place where they could put their entire album up on their site and say "pay us what you can/want".

    but are there any popular developers willing to go rogue? and what would it take if they did? a hefty trust fund most likely.
  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    It is interesting because I remember a long time ago reading with a friend a book, that was exactly emulating something like this, where you had in the book certain situations where you as reader could decide what to do since the book gave you sometimes a few options well of course it was more a kind of game then a full novell though the story was inteersting. So for example in the story at some point you as reader would be offered by a houseowner 2 glasses of wine red and white and you could choose which to drink. If you would choose the red you would get unconcious the white killed you (and you had to start reading it again or at least from that position). The game contained a inventory as you had the option to take things with you that you could find somewhere like a knive or something similar and also use it against enemies. There was a pencil to writte down what you had in your inventory and a diece for fighting enemies when they appeared. It was actualy very entertaining. Pretty unusual though.
  7. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    House of Hell by Steve Jackson, one of the better gamebooks I've read/played. British gamebooks always tended to be more game-oriented while American gamebooks were more about picking bigger chunks of text with fewer or no game mechanics.
  8. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    Oh Gamebooks, I still have a few Lone Wolf ones by Joe Dever.
    Really cheesy stuff, but they were fun.
  9. Xenophile

    Xenophile It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 18, 2007
    Wow.. you say that the superiority of books for say philisophical musings is self evident.

    I think the problem is that for someone that talks about the impact and imaginative potential of books, you clearly lack much imagination of your own when it comes to electronic interactive media (i understand that games is a subset).

    First off.. because interactive media are can be advanced by user the and do not have to run a pre-timed narrative (like a movie). The potential is limitless. You can mimick a book or a movie perfectly, but in doing so, you really miss the emotional/intellectual impact that is possible in the medium.

    I have seen some very experimental games that begin to touch this potential.

    The clarity of presentation or imaginative potential of a work as well as it's intellectual density is entirely at the control of the creator.

    Just because we haven't seen a work yet that reachs your definition of an intellectual masterwork, does not mean that the medium is unsuited for it.
  10. Zaij

    Zaij Vault Senior Citizen

    Feb 10, 2004
    It's real late here, I've been up for around 23 hours and I want to go to bed but I thought I'd just add this before I forget, forgive me if some of it doesn't make sense or I've gone over what's been said before or it's just plain daft, but:

    Video gaming is still a relatively new media, and as such it's still finding it's feet, pushing boundaries to see what it can and can't do. I gave Pathologic a shot, but found it difficult to get into due to the translation (although at the same time it made it more interesting), but I did read through that guys 3 piece in depth review to know enough it seems like a real work of art. A game I have played, however, that seems like a piece of art with philosophical undertones (ones that really resonated with me too, pertaining to faith [there's a particularly nice graph (the whole interview is nice actually) on here]) is Dreamfall.

    At the time, it looked pretty damn nice visually, had some excellent music and I found a fair bit of the dialogue to be top notch. I sorta haven't played it since because I don't want to ruin my memories of it (yeah, the game had a bit of an effect on me), so I may be looking at it without as critical an eye I should be but bare with me. So the game has these nice visuals, good music and dialogue and some pretty nice philosophy in it but what it failed in was pretty simple; gameplay. It was more of an interactive story than a game, and yet without putting myself in the position of the games protagonists I sincerely doubt the story would've had as much effect on me as if it had been a book or a movie or whatnot.

    And this is where I think the distinction between the game world and other media lie, in the way you can experience it. Through playing the game, I wasn't merely reading and understanding abstract philosophical concepts, nor watching some philosophical concept being played out through film, I experienced them through the game. It's not that there's bad/simple philosophy in games, it's just that it needs to be transfigured into an experiential format. This is what developers should be aiming for. Judging from what I read in that Pathologic review, if it had been done with better graphics, better translations and maybe a few mild improvements it could stand as one of the pinnacles of experiencing (because this is what we are doing with the games) games as art. I think if Dreamfall had better gameplay, it could also make that claim.

    Fuck, to tell you the truth I've forgotten what this entire thread is about apart from remembering some vague notions that people are arguing about philosophy in games doomed to being crap. I might have even been using art and philosophy interchangeably, I dunno, I'll edit all this shit in the morning or something, or maybe even just let it stand here as a testament to weary posting if it seems to be crap.

    Also Rybicki Maneuver sounds like a chess play.

  11. Ixyroth

    Ixyroth Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 18, 2008
    I agree with this for the most part, and yet alec has a few good points. Anything with audio/visual elements does to some extent remove visualization and imagination from the process. The advantage of gaming media over books is that it allows for a non-linear storyline, C&C, where different experiences can be had by different players.

    Frankly, all of this discussion misses the point. There is nothing inherently inferior about games as a medium - books, movies, music and games all have their place.

    The fact is that games are dumb because the establishment wants them to be dumb. Period. It's not a question of technical limitation. Most movies, and many books are dumb for the same reason. And this trend will continue. Media will get dumber, the population will get dumber, then the media again, then the population again. It's a vicious circle.

    I'll be sure to check out Pathologic. Thanks for heads up.
  12. Tagaziel

    Tagaziel Panzerkatze Orderite

    Dec 10, 2003
    This has to be the smartest thing said on this forum yet.
  13. TwinkieGorilla

    TwinkieGorilla This ghoul has seen it all

    Oct 19, 2007
    really? see, i feel like your last paragraph misses the point. because while this might hold true:

    the fact remains that thus far there has not been a trend or even a positive pattern which would suggest video-games are capable of establishing culturally, artistically or intellectually important works which reach an audience wide enough for the industry to open up to customers who are NOT looking for something just to pass the time. so what IS inherently inferior about video-games is their immediate disadvantage as a medium which has yet to be taken seriously beyond a small (and fairly obsessive) group of people. i'm sure in time, an Art Speigalman will come along, win some kind of award or gain the kind of attention which your average non-gaming consumer could at least take seriously enough to teach it's merits in a course at a University.

    and the "comic/graphic novel" industry is a great example of this because what started out as something viewed solely as a juvenile distraction has grown into something which is just beginning to be taken seriously as an intellectually stimulating, culturally relevant, artistically innovative medium. to name a very few: Speigelman won the Pulitzer. Jim Woodring's "Big Book of Frank" was the only piece of non-traditional literature on the Village Voices top 25 books list of 2003. Watchmen won a Hugo award and is in a few major publications as one of the greatest pieces of literature or novel form of all time. this somewhat newer trend within an old medium has finally begun sinking into the consciousness of the populous whereas videogames sadly...have not even come close. i disagree with this:

    i'm just gonna go ahead and remove your period: .

    there it is. sentence reopened. the fact that games are dumb isn't because the establishment wants them to be dumb. if anything it's because people are not demanding MORE from the establishment. the establishment will give the people what they want (to a certain degree) once they have proof that doing so will make them money. no. the reason why games are dumb is because there aren't enough developers with enough money out there making a significant impact or break-through in the areas i've mentioned over and over in this thread. games may not inherently be inferior as a medium, in fact i'm sure an interactive medium stands to transcend it's genre and open thousands of important doors. but right now people aren't interested. and maybe they're not interested because they haven't really had too many alternatives presented to them. and certainly not convincingly or loudly enough.
  14. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    By suggesting that all games have to have audio/visual elements you are artificially restricting the medium as there have been many text only games. Don't get me wrong, I prefer games which use audio/visual elements but the fact remains that they do not have to. I've also never understood why making things more abstract makes them more intelligent. Creators often times have things in their heads about how things look and work and while it does not require as much imagination it allows the creator(s) to bring across their ideas in multiple ways.

    I also think that the whole discussion of books vs. movies artificially limits the possibilities of film. Series use most of the same tools that movies do but don't have the same restrictions, such as time and resolution at the end of each allotment, allowing for them to have bigger, more complex stories.
  15. freduardo

    freduardo First time out of the vault

    Nov 12, 2008
    Something that is not art, and was never intended to be art, is in no way inferior to art.

    Take the following example: We're hanging out in your living room wherein I blow a bubble with the gum I'm chewing. You start writing and don't say anything for a while, so I excuse myself to go to the bathroom at such an opportune moment. When I come back, you hand me a review stating how my bubble-blowing performance art piece was the most banal piece of crap you have ever seen on the legitimate stage and that I should pack up my trite act and go home. Which of us missed the point in this situation?

    I'm not saying that video games are bad; they're great. I'm not saying that art is bad; it's also great. And if art is meant to make you think deep thoughts, then probably what people do in museums is appropriate: you stand there, look at the picture/statue/movie/whatever and think about it. If that's what I'm supposed to do during a particular video game, I'd call that a bad video game. In a good video game, I press buttons and respond to stimuli which thereby responds to my input. In a really good video game, I'm having fun while I do this and may or may not have something to think about after I'm done.

    I enjoy Fallout 3 because it allows me to do the latter: I press buttons, the game responds, I have fun, and sometimes I need to think about what happened after the fact. Is it art? I'd say no. Is that bad? Again, I say no. It's good, because that is what the game is supposed to be and I enjoy it. I'd call that success.

    You're perfectly allowed to try to make a video game be art, I will in no way stop you. But I will warn you of the following two things:

    #1) it almost certainly wont be deep, in the sense that the (at least according to some) 'deep' "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" or "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" game from the 80s, or "Neuromancer" the game, etc. are all based on fairly simple stories that do not hold a candle to the depth and complexity of things like "Gravity's Rainbow" or "Ulysses" or "Snow" (Orhan Pamuk), etc. This is not a dig against the stories themselves; they are good. But they're at least arguably shallow. This is also why it takes so long to read philosophy books well, btw: there are a lot of deep thoughts to work through and you can only do a few at a time before you need to process them, go back, etc.

    #2) it probably wont be fun. If your game IS full of such deep thoughts, the enjoyment probably will come more from contemplating those deep thoughts than the gameplay, which will be interrupted by having to pause every few minutes to understand what's going on. In general, especially due to the ease of going back to earlier sections in formats where load times are not a big issue, this purpose would probably be better served in the form of a book or a movie or set of stills or an audio piece.

    My point: don't read Fallout 3 as a failure to make an artistic masterpiece. I doubt that was ever the intention. Play it as a fun game. Or say you didn't have fun, totally legitimate response as well. But I have fun playing the game. Lots of it.
  16. patriot_41

    patriot_41 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 8, 2008
    Which they never, for some reason, use. We get tons of repetitive boring crap based on an initially good idea (The Conan series is the most gleaming example of utter crap. And the fact that it's fairly indistinguishable from Xena or Hercules or Stargate) . But this is the curse of TV - unless you're making sitcoms or cartoons it's always crap. I don't know why that happens, I'm still researching it.
  17. patriot_41

    patriot_41 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 8, 2008
    It isn't. But the previous installments were pretty fucking close and that's why we hate FO3. By we I mean myself. I often do that.
  18. Ausir

    Ausir Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Apr 20, 2003
    Never? Ever seen an HBO series, for example?
  19. freduardo

    freduardo First time out of the vault

    Nov 12, 2008
    Then...what's the point of hating it? I don't get pissed at Hotwheels for making cars like Ford trucks even though they're really small and don't have internal combustion engines. They're different sorts of products.
    On another note I'd also argue that I didn't find the first 2 Fallout games all that fun or artistically deep; the former probably has to do with my allergy to isometric RPGs, the latter to my description of what makes things deep. YMMV.
  20. patriot_41

    patriot_41 Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Mar 8, 2008
    I remember Hallmark's Midsummer Murders as being quite good, but can't think of a single HBO series I like.